Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Journal or Book Title
The carbon-calcium-inclusions (CCaIs) either as calcium oxalate crystals (CaOx) or amorphous calcium carbonate cystoliths are spread among most photosynthetic organisms. They represent dynamic structures with a significant construction cost and their appearance during evolution indicates an ancient origin. Both types of inclusions share some similar functional characteristics providing adaptive advantages, such as the regulation of Ca level, and the release of CO2 and water molecules upon decomposition. The latter seems to be essential under drought conditions and explains the intense occurrence of these structures in plants thriving in dry climates. It seems, however, that for plants CaOx may represent a more prevalent storage system compared to CaCO3 due to the multifunctionality of oxalate. This compound participates in a number of important soil biogeochemical processes, creates endosymbiosis with beneficial bacteria and provides tolerance against a combination of abiotic (nutrient deprivation, metal toxicity) and biotic (pathogens, herbivores) stress factors. We suggest a reevaluation of the roles of these fascinating plant structures under a new and holistic approach that could enhance our understanding of carbon sequestration at the whole plant level and provide future perspectives.
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Karabourniotis, George; Horner, Harry T.; Bresta, Panagiota; Nikolopoulos, Dimosthenis; and Liakopoulos, Georgios, "New insights on the functions of carbon‐calcium‐inclusions in plants" (2020). Genetics, Development and Cell Biology Publications. 258.
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